It’s an alluring sight often accompanied by engaging names like sour lemon, marble gold, peach, and cherry pie. Coloured vinyl has never been more popular and, when limited editions are pressed in colour, highly desired as collectable pieces.
If well maintained, they can be good investments.
Decades ago, coloured vinyl had a reputation for poor sound quality and was generally avoided in favour of its black counterpart. And with good reason – some of the early ‘70s and ‘80s in our collections sound vastly inferior to traditional record black vinyl.
But major improvements in materials and technology have turned that preconceived notion on its head.
Despite some collectors insisting that certain colours sound better than others, most record enthusiasts would struggle to hear any discernible difference with today’s coloured vinyl. A noticeable drop in sound quality with a coloured disc (we’ve yet to come across one over the last five years) will have more to do with where the record was pressed and the skill of the workers at the plant than the actual material used in the production process.
Savvy marketers at record labels now pair colours with the name of the record or band (such as The Veronicas’ reptilian green vinyl for their Godzilla album, or Amyl & the Sniffers’ “Romer Red” version of upcoming album Comfort To Me, named for their red-headed bassist Gus Romer) and often this is reflected in reissues of classic albums or soundtracks (like the “Delorean Silver” of the Back To The Future film soundtrack).
Some mixed coloured vinyl can be incredibly striking. While some vinyl purists will always stick to buying traditional black vinyl, buying coloured vinyl is unlikely to make any significant difference from an audio perspective and you’re left with a far more aesthetically pleasing record on your turntable. And something that could be worth a few dollars down the line.